Peaky Blinders Scene 2.
From a blacked out screen we hear the quick clip clop of a horse’s hooves.
Fade in to reveal –
The legs of a shiny black horse, trotting through a grimy inner city backstreet on a gritty, uneven road.
The rider on the horse is revealed only by one shiny black shoe, sock and grey suit trouser leg – the attire a glimpse of an important person?
The camera gradually reveals the rider – but only from behind, wearing a grey suit and peaked cap.
NB. We are yet to see his face.
We follow him he rides along a busy, grimy, poor urban street.
Women and children run to hide.
It reminds me of the Gene Pitney song my dad used to sing, based on the old John Ford western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
The song goes like this:
When Liberty Valance comes to town women folk would hide.
When Liberty Valance walked around the men would step aside.
Here’s the song with some great scenes from the classic movie:
Scene 2 of Peaky Blinders is completely visual.
There is no dialogue.
The women and children running to hide confirm the fear the Chinese men expressed in the opening scene is shared by the local community.
The lonely horseman riding through town gives a definite ‘nod’ to the Western.
It’s got a definite Clint Eastwood feel about it.
The Man with No Name.
In scene 2 of Peaky Blinders, up to this moment, we are still yet to see the Man on the Horse’s face.
The Man with No Face.
We are blinded by the peak of his cap.
The cinematography here is astounding.
Women still run inside to hide.
Boys hide and peak at the Man on the Horse.
The Man on the Horse comes to a standstill in the now empty, grimy, Birmingham back street as washing blows in the wind.
The rider is still faceless as –
– the Chinese Man and Girl run as fast as they can towards the Man on the Horse.
And we’re into scene 3.
So, what information is revealed in this scene regarding character?
This man, this Man on the Horse, who we assume to be the leader of the Peaky Blinders, is feared.
But this is not necessarily, of course, who he is, but rather how he is perceived by those around him.
Click here for Scene 3.